Cognitive & Brain Sciences

fMRI image

The graduate program in Cognitive and Brain Sciences at LSU examines cognition and related topics from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Our graduate program emphasizes research training using multiple behavioral and neuroscientific methodological tools, including both laboratory and field research methods.

Our goal is to prepare students for professional careers in a variety of settings such as:

  • Academic careers
  • Researchers in industry or government
  • Technical advisors in government and human service organizations

In addition to basic research on attention, memory, emotion, language, and decision-making, students are encouraged to study applications of the cognitive and brain sciences to real-world situations. Each student’s program is individually designed by the student and faculty advisors to provide a working knowledge of this broad field and intensive study in the student’s areas of special interest. Courses and seminars in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and other areas of Psychology and in other departments constitute the academic core of the student’s program of study.

EEG laboratory

Research Opportunities

Research training continues throughout the student’s program at increasing levels of responsibility. This training includes applied as well as traditional laboratory methods. Students work closely with faculty members on research of mutual interest.

Students have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of research techniques.  In addition to a variety of equipment available in faculty labs, the Psychology department EEG Neuroscience laboratory has a BioSemi 64-channel ERP system, and an EyeLink system for conducting eye tracking and pupillometry research.  Faculty also conduct fMRI research at Pennington Biomedical Center’s brain imaging facility.

Opportunities also exist for students to get experience doing applied research:

LSU Multidisciplinary Initiative for Neuroscience Discovery (MIND)

The field of neuroscience addresses fundamental questions about the organization and function of the nervous system, as well as changes that occur as a result of development, experience, injury, and disease. Increasing our understanding of such phenomena poises us to recognize and promote adaptive patterns in behavior and neurological function, to the benefit of our local community and the greater population. Our mission is to coordinate and strengthen research, training, and community outreach opportunities related to neuroscience at LSU. For more information, visit the LSU MIND website.

Dr. Beck serves on the executive committee for LSU MIND. Read about Dr. Beck's collaborative work here: Collaborative Champion: Melissa Beck.

Former Students

Name Ph.D. Year Position
Jennifer Silva Brown 2009

Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences,

Drury University

Jenny Y. Denver 2010


Global Talent Management

Emily Olinde Boudreaux 2010

The Emerge Center

Amanda van Lamsweerde 2013

Research Psychologist,

Quantum Improvements Consulting

Justin Ericson 2014

Design Researcher,


Rebecca Horn 2015

Our Lady of the Lake Hospital Office of Research

Danielle Lutfi-Proctor 2015

Research Analyst,

Boy Scouts of America

Rebecca R Goldstein 2016

Assistant Professor (tenure-track),

Arkansas Tech university

Bethany Lyon 2018

Assistant Professor (tenure-track),

University of Nebraska Omaha

Corey I McGill 2019

Player Insights Analyst,

Electronic Arts

Kacie Mennie 2019

Assistant Professor (tenure-track),

Louisiana Tech University

Daniella Cash 2019

Assistant Professor (tenure-track),

Sam Houston State University

Laura Heisick 2019


Penn State Harrisburg

Katherine Moen 2019

Assistant Professor (tenure-track),

University of Nebraska Kearney


Getting publications is a critical key toward obtaining a job after graduation, and our training model emphasizes the importance of students authoring or co-authoring manuscripts in top-tier journals. Please click on the Graduate Student Publications page to see some of the most recent publications by CBS grad students.

For additional information about the CBS program, please contact Dr. Melissa Beck at

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View the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Psychology Faculty

Download the CBS Program Graduate Student Handbook